Monday, January 06, 2003

Thoughts from the Fiesta Bowl

Because the store closed early Friday, I was able to watch the entire Fiesta Bowl, this year's BCS championship game. Here are my thoughts on the game.

- Miami got robbed. The pass interference call on 4th down was a joke. Ohio State receiver Chris Gamble got both hands on the ball before he was touched. In the NFL, that call is never made, much less at such a critical juncture.

- Ohio State does deserve credit for coming up with a big play on 4th-and-14 to keep the drive alive in the first overtime. It was a perfectly run route and a well thrown pass.

- Maurice Clarett's talk after the game about wanting to play on defense because he's too talented to be limited to one side of the ball is insane. He missed three games because of injury this season just playing running back. He's way too fragile to play tailback.

- Why didn't Miami throw more often to Kellen Winslow in the first three quarters. OSU obviously had no answer for him, and he's even better than Giants rookie and former Miami star Jeremy Shockey.

- Along those lines, even with Miami's loss, I'm now convinced that a team put together from Miami's past three teams -- the ones that combined to win 34 in a row -- would make the NFL playoffs. Think about it. Ken Dorsey at quarterback. Clinton Portis, James Jackson and Willis McGahee at tailback. Najeh Davenport at fullback. Santana Moss, Daryl Jones and Andre Johnson at wide receiver. Winslow and Shockey at tight end. An offensive line anchored by Bryant McKinnie and Brett Romberg. And that's just the offense. On defense you'd have NFL players like Ed Reed, Philip Buchanon and Mike Rumph -- and that's just the backfield. They'd also have Dan Morgan and Damione Lewis, as well as their current stars. I wouldn't want to try to stop that, would you?

- Craig Krenzle impressed me with his toughness, but I can't help but think that the Buckeyes relied too much on him and didn't lean on their tailbacks enough in the second half. They could have avoided the whole overtime situation had they not mismanaged the offensive game-plan.

- Keith Jackson is an awesome announcer. I'm glad he didn't retire for real.

- Last thought: OSU has very little chance of repeating. I think the whole Clarett controversy is going to gain steam in the off-season, rather than go away. He might even end up transferring, sitting out a year to get healthy, then playing a year and leaving for the NFL. Really, I think Miami has a better chance to be playing for a national title next year than Ohio State.

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